Quibi, the new streaming service that’s devoted to short-form content (or “quick bites,” if you will) had its big launch yesterday. The result? Not great! The nascent streaming service is offering users a 90-day free trial, but even that didn’t seem to be enough of an incentive for people to give it a shot. As a result, only 300,000 users downloaded the app. That’s not exactly a terrible number, but…it’s not very good, either.
A lot of people are comparing the launch of Quibi to the recent launch of Disney+. The Disney service scored four million installs when it launched, which is much, much better than Quibi’s 300,000. But it doesn’t seem fair to compare the two. Disney is a huge brand name with a gargantuan legacy, while, in comparison, no one knows what the hell Quibi is. Of course Disney would have a better debut.
All that said, 300,000 downloads of a major streaming service featuring big stars still isn’t ideal – especially now, when everyone is stuck at home craving content. But fate was just not in Quibi’s favor. The entire idea of the streaming service is that it provides content for people on the go. You can watch a five to 10 minute episode on your train ride to work, or on your lunch break. But when the CEO of Quibi, Mr. Quentin Quibi, was dreaming this entire idea, no one could’ve predicted a pandemic would break out and strand everyone at home. As a result, virtually no one is on the go right now. So there’s no real incentive to fit in some quick bites.
Word-of-mouth might help Quibi, although the reaction to the service’s content has been muted. I watched 25 shows on Quibi, and I’ll confess that out of everything I saw, only two or three programs really impressed me. Everything else felt rather forgettable, or worse – just plain bad. Still, Quibi has yet to unleash all of its content. It has more on the horizon – including a horror series created by none other than Mr. Steven Spielberg. Perhaps the service will be able to recover from its rough start in the upcoming months.
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